The Maine Central has been a railroad that has long intrigued me. The builders of this interesting transportation system faced many obstacles as they attempted to connect the remote areas of Maine to the rest of the world. When I think of the MEC in a geographical sense, I envision mountains, forests and rivers.
Indeed, Maine is a lumber state, dotted with countless papermills. This has enabled me the opportunity to run "unit trains" on my small, yet busy, 11x13 layout. Wanting to operate such a train of similar cars, I was faced with the choice of hauling either pulpwood or tanker traffic in long drags behind lashups of maroon & gold and green & gold Maine Central motive power. My decision was made easy when Proto2000 came out with their highly detailed tankcar kits. I chose to operate a unit tanker train which I have nicknamed, "The Oil Can". (Yes, I patiently constructed thirty of these kits - in an assembly line approach - to have sufficient cars for "the look" of a unit train and to have enough on the sidings in town for exchange purposes!)
The Oil Can hauls empty tanker consists from the interior of Maine (where they fuelled the many paper mills) to my fictitious town of North Dover. The Maine Central is granted traffic rights in town where empties are exchanged for loads. In reality, the Maine Central conducted interchange with the Boston and Maine much further to the north. However, by naming my town North Dover (and not the real town of Dover), I provided myself with the opportunity to "imagineer" the exchange of traffic taking place further to the south.
The handsome EMD inspired livery of the Maine Central makes it a perfect cousin to the Boston and Maine as the photographs will attest!
I consider the Maine Central to be a survivor, and indeed it has to this day...as a major player in my model railroad world of New England.
Cheers, Mike Hamer
Check out my other weblog which details my train operating round robin group at www.fridaynightgroup.blogspot.com